Thoughtful Thursday: Morality Police

Married at 14 (maybe 15) to a man that abused and raped her…he was having an incestuous relationship with his sister too. Sold into sex slavery. Violently raped by the Queens right hand? Oh, and I think there might be something with mastiffs too.

No, it is not George R R Martin.

It is one of my favorite romances of all time…Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small. Published in 1980 by Ballantine (Random House).

…And I can’t purchase it on Kindle!

Do you see the utter stupidity in that? A book that was ‘clean’ enough for a major publishing house thirty-five years ago can’t pass Kindle’s ridiculously strict Morality Police. 

I honestly am not sure how George R R Martin does.

And Facebook? No better. You get banned for bare butts and breastfeeding pics? I have had a friend who was banned for 30-days for…A CLASSICAL PIECE OF ART!!!

Yes, they will go back and restore your account. But they follow a presumed guilty until proven innocent policy. Which can cost artists and writers precious dollars.

Now some of you may argue, but yes, we don’t want kids seeing/reading that shit. And you can’t put them behind the counter on-line.

Oh yes, Amazon does. They randomly label books and authors erotic…without even consulting you. Once they do, none of your books will come up in a search. It can literally kill a best-seller.

And while we are on the subject, WHY ARE eBOOKS TREATED DIFFERENTLY? You see I can purchase (but won’t) a used paperback or even hardback (Damn, those things are HUNDREDS of dollars) of Skye O’Malley at Amazon, BUT not in ebook format? Where is the sense in that?

Do I really believe that people should have the right to read about rape, sex with your sister, or under-age?

Read Skye O’Malley yourself. It is a piece of historical fiction. So yes, girls commonly married AGAINST their wills at fourteen and fifteen. A man could not rape his wife according to their customs. And slavery, even sexual, was a common and accepted practice. As for incest, we see it on TV with the Borgias and Game of Thrones.

So, simple answer is YES. Yes, I do think readers are smart enough to decide for themselves.

Oh, and for you Christian right-wingers, go read your own bible. There is PLENTY of under-age  sex, rape and incest in that puppy. I know I have read it from cover to cover…more than once.

Now…I am all for INFORMED CHOICE. I think readers have the right to know what they are buying. I love the way that AllRomanceeBooks has a rating system for all their books.

As an author, I have created my very own rating system for sex, language and adult subject matter (PTSD, depression and other trigger subjects). I not only use the star system to inform readers of how much I feel each of my books contains those. I go so far as to actually list specifics acts and subject matter that some may find offensive or be triggers.

BUT I object to a major…NO, THE MAJOR…book distributor CENSORING, and that is what this is plain and simple, folks…what we as readers can see and/or purchase. Or what we are writers can sell. Do I need to remind you of some of the cultures/countries that have gone down that road?

(And I still had someone lower a review for one of mine from a 5 to 4 because there was too much *fucking* cussing.)

As for Facebook…if you are so *fucking* offended by seeing a man’s naked ass on my feed…why the *hell* did you friend me in the first place? And why the *fuck* not just unfriend me instead of calling the MORALITY poo-poo on me? I put up with your *fucking* religious, right-wing crap that offends me.

Oh and while we are at it…why the *fuck* isn’t HATE speech policed? Racism is OK, but the human body has to be hidden…and sex acts doctored up with sweet words like lingam and yoni (yes…those are real words used in a romance I read once…ironically one of Ms. Small I believe).

Isn’t it about time that these people came out of the Dark Ages, stopped censoring what people can buy and sale, and allowed the consumer to make informed decisions for themselves?

Yes, this is ONE of the reasons that I have removed my books from their exclusive Kindle program.

Oh, and Kudos to Barnes & Noble, I can purchase Skye O’Malley in Nook format from them. Off to them to purchase this CLASSIC.

There is a really simple solution to this ‘problem.’ Label things the way that AllRomance and I do. And let the consumer choose for themselves.

If you don’t like sex, cussing and heavy shit/topics, then a Tara Neale book ain’t for you.


(To be clear, I do NOT know for certain that this is why I cannot purchase Skye O’Malley on Kindle. Because as anyone who has ever tried to get through to their customer service knows, you can’t. But it is a rather good deduction based upon what I know of them and this book…and finding it on B&N sort of confirmed it in my mind. If someone in ‘the know’ with Random House informs me otherwise then I will gladly retract parts of this and apologize. But you can’t get any answers from them either.)


6 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday: Morality Police

    1. They will be for sale on Kindle but not the KDP program. Now you will also be able to get them at B&N, OmniLit and iBooks. Should be same price everywhere.

  1. I bought my copy of Skye O’Mallet on Kindle. Bertrice Small may be my very favorite author. I have read all her books and cried the day she died. I just looked it up, and I can get the Kindle book of Skye O’Mallet for $9.99. Maybe it is different in England. I am in the US, so maybe Amazon has different policies in different countries?

    1. Really? Mine says unavailable for purchase in this format. And my settings are for Amazon USA. Nothing surprises me with them though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.